|A journalist and best-selling author, Michael Hingston’s work has appeared in Wired, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Atlas Obscura, The Daily Beast, Hazlitt, Salon, The Walrus, and The Globe and Mail. He has written on topics including Roald Dahl, salt and why everything in Alberta is named after Winston Churchill. Hingston is also the co-founder of Hingston & Olsen Publishing, home of the Short Story Advent Calendar. more||A playwright, actor, sound designer, composer, performer, director and TV host, Darrin Hagen is the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise, currently celebrating three decades of drag comedies that have toured across North America. He has received seven Sterling Awards for his work in the Edmonton theatre scene, and over 40 nominations. more|
|Contact – Coming soon!||Contact – Coming soon!|
We are so excited to welcome Michael Hingston as the regional Writer-in-Residence!
As the regional Writer in Residence, Michael Hingston will split his time between Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert and Strathcona County, with multiple-month stints in each community. A journalist and best-selling author, his work has appeared in Wired, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Atlas Obscura, The Daily Beast, Hazlitt, Salon, The Walrus, and The Globe and Mail. He has written on topics including Roald Dahl, salt and why everything in Alberta is named after Winston Churchill. Hingston is also the co-founder of Hingston & Olsen Publishing, home of the Short Story Advent Calendar.
“Most writing happens when you’re alone in a room, but we all benefit from talking and sharing our work with others,” said Hingston. “I can’t wait to meet the great writers in these communities and help them produce something really special.”
Hingston’s first book, The Dilettantes, was published in 2013. His next book is about Calvin and Hobbes, and will be published by ECW Press in the spring of 2018.
We are excited to welcome Darrin Hagen as the EPL Writer-in-Residence!
A playwright, actor, sound designer, composer, performer, director and TV host, Darrin Hagen is the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise, currently celebrating three decades of drag comedies that have toured across North America. He has received seven Sterling Awards for his work in the Edmonton theatre scene, and over 40 nominations. His writing debut was the award-winning The Edmonton Queen in 1996 followed by Tornado Magnet: A Salute to Trailer Court Women. Hagen’s numerous creations have been produced across Canada, in the U.S. and as far away as Ireland.
“I’m beyond excited to meet and work with the diversity of creative voices that make up the Edmonton writing community – not only the writers I’m familiar with, but also those whose work I haven’t experienced yet,” said Hagen. “The streak of unique artistic creativity in our city has always impressed and inspired me, and I know I will learn so much by spending 2018 immersed in the imaginations of others.”
Hagen has been inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada and the Edmonton Queer Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, and last year was named one of Alberta’s 25 Most Influential Artists in the last 25 years. He is currently working on a series of presentations that will illuminate the important histories of western Canada’s LGBTQ+ population.
Born in Amsterdam and raised all over Canada, David van Belle is a relative newcomer to Edmonton and will call EPL home for the whole of 2017. He is a playwright, director, actor and theatre deviser who has been Co-Artistic Director of Ghost River Theatre, an ensemble member of One Yellow Rabbit and playwright-in-residence at Alberta Theatre Projects.
“It’s an honour to be able to set up shop at the Edmonton Public Library,” said van Belle. “I’m looking forward to digging into Edmonton’s exciting writing and theatrical community. I’m fascinated by people’s lives and the ways in which they live them – and I know there are many stories in this city that can be told many ways.”
Van Belle has created such works as BUZZ JOB! The True Story of Cal Cavendish with Kris Demeanor and The Invisible Project during a month-long residency at Calgary’s largest homeless shelter. He is also a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award, several Betty Mitchell awards and numerous other citations, as well as being a multiple nominee for the Gwen Pharis Ringwood prize in play writing.
Strathcona County Library is proud to host a Meet and Greet with Richard Van Camp on Saturday January 7.
2017 Writer in Residence Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. An internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author, he is also a writer of multiple talents, with baby books, children’s books, comic books, graphic novels and films all to his credit. His work has been translated into a variety of indigenous languages and adapted for the screen.
Richard is a graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.
He wrote for CBC’s North of 60 television show under their Writer Internship Program and was a script and cultural consultant with them for four seasons. He has taught Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, worked as a Creative Writing and Storytelling instructor with the Emily Carr Institute and was the Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta for 2011 and 2012, and at MacEwan University in 2013 and 2014.
Richard is currently shooting the movie Three Feathers in his hometown, in each of the official languages of the South Slave Region: Dene, Bush Cree, South Slavey and English. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter or at his website: www.richardvancamp.com
It’s the grand finale party for the 2016 Writer in Residence program!
Thu Dec 15 7-9 pm
Strathcona County Council Chambers, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park (Map)
Join Marty Chan and Wayne Arthurson to celebrate the local literary scene. Everyone
in attendance will be placed on a team to compete in:
- A trivia contest
- A game of charades, and
- Pictionary with a real live illustrator!
Here’s the fun part: The games will all relate to books written by local authors.
In between, enjoy some beverages and appetizers!
You’ll also get to meet the 2017 Writers in Residence and find out what they have planned
for the coming year.
Happy New Year!
I’m excited to serve as the regional writer in residence. My home base will be the Strathcona County Library until the end of April, and I can’t wait to meet the writers in this community. Already, I’ve met the amazing staff at the library, and I’ve learned where they’ve stashed all the snacks. Trust me; writers need snacks. Always.
Writers also need a community. We spend most of our writing hours holed up in a basement office or hidden in the quiet corner of a coffee shop or library. Sometimes, we feel as if our only companions are the cats that splay across our keyboards when we’re trying to work. When we go out, we can’t talk to Muggles about our works in progress, because we fear our co-workers will scurry away at the mere mention of “writer’s block.” It’s a relief when we stumble across another member of our tribe–someone who understands character arcs, plot holes, weak climaxes, and Oxford commas.
I invite you to let your cats sleep on your keyboards for one afternoon. Join me on Saturday, January 16 for my official kickoff. Not only will you hear about the exciting programs I have planned, but you’ll also learn about resources that can help writers. I’ve invited people from the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Writers Guild of Alberta to talk about what they can do to help writers.
If that isn’t enough, I’ve added one more guest to the roster. Paul Matwychuk of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts will talk about grants that can give writers the time they need to work on their manuscripts. The timing is perfect because the next AFA deadline is February 1.
The Meet & Greet & Book Swap promises to be a fun afternoon filled with great information for writers of all levels and genres. Bring a book to swap so you can share your love of reading and kickstart a conversation with a fellow writer. Make 2016 be the year you take the first step to fulfilling your dream of becoming a full-time writer. But leave your cat at home.
I will be doffing this cap as writer in residence officially at 11:59 pm on Thursday, December 31, 2015.
It’s been a grand year. I thank all of you who trusted me with your words and who took time to visit or attend workshops and special events. Truly, it was an honour and a privilege.
2016 will see me returning to my own writng regime and travelling to Serbia, Croatia, and nearby countries to research my novel. I also hope to finish up my book of poetry. Of course, I will still be mentoring writers in my role at YouthWrite and beyond. It is a role I take seriously. If you have a few moments, please read this very fine essay by Nick Ripatrazone. I found it a piece of truth and beauty, wise words for any writing mentor or English teacher:
“You need to love words. You don’t need to love a certain type of book or a particular writer, but you need to love letters and phrases and the possibilities of language. You will spend most of your days dealing with words, and students can sense if words do not bring you joy.” – 55 Thoughts for English Teachers
I wish you peace and joy this season. May 2016 see us open our hearts and minds to this world, its creatures and people. The world could use a little more compassion.
Best wishes for your writing,
This week’s great un-/ undersung CanLit title worth checking out:
The Gardens Where She Dreams – Rebecca Luce-Kapler explores the dimensions of a woman’s experience from early memory through young infatuation toward deepening insight as an adult. A beautiful and lyrical reflection on the life and art of Emily Carr. Quintessentially Canadian!
Writing Quote: ““I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams, English writer (1952-2001)
Writing Tips: “Vigorous writing is concise.” ~William Strunk Jr.
Writing Prompt: Whilst digging in your garden, you find a…
Image by Stuart Freedman: UK – London – A performer (Mummer) dressed as the Holly Man – the winter guise of the Green Man – processes along the Thames in a traditional ‘wassail’ ritual to welcome the New Year